Selecting a Search Firm



  • In-Depth Knowledge of Your Company and Culture
  • What You See is What You Get
  • Creation of Fresh Talent Pools and Access to More Candidates
  • Smaller Workload
  • Higher Completion Rates
  • Personalized Customer Success Model

Large Firms

  • Too Many Customers For Close Focus
  • Junior People Initiating the Sourcing
  • Off Limits Companies and Large Data Bases of Static Candidates
  • Large Firms Leverage 10-15 Searches at a Time per Partner
  • Research Shows 65% of Searches are Completed
  • Cannot Customize Because of Leveraged Model


  • Does the lead partner personally conduct all candidate development?
  • Who is going to conduct the search and what is that person’s total workload?
  • What is that person’s qualifications and experience?
  • What personal network is there?
  • How will a candidate pool be built?
  • What is the plan to get to know the business and culture?
  • What is the ability to discern leadership?
  • Are best in class leadership assessment tools regarding leadership behaviors and predictors for style and fit, including EQ, offered?
  • Are these assessments included in the search fee?
  • Is the firm ultimately representing the company or the candidate?
  • What issues could mitigate attracting exceptional leaders?
  • What is the commitment to “no recruitment zone” after search completion?
  • What happens after the search is completed and the candidate begins?

What Makes a Search Successful?

  • Recruiter insights on the business and culture - not just in the initial phase, but throughout
  • An inside champion for the process and result - the hiring manager
  • Well defined role -“must haves” versus "preferred" competencies, style, experience, and domain expertise
  • Aligned expectations by stakeholders
  • Agreed upon milestones with regular feedback on search process
  • Creating candidate demand and “enthusiasm” throughout the search
  • Well planned evaluation format, criteria, and questions among the selection team with real time feedback among the team
  • Transparency with the candidates on status
  • Behavioral assessment throughout
  • Effective referencing
  • Build the relationship along the way. Make it personal. Know the finalist's motivation and concerns before the offer is made
  • Timely close, right compensation package, and new hire integration plan